April 1, 2006
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Every Ohio State player batted in the top of the fifth inning as the Buckeyes broke a two-all tie with three runs on its way to a 6-4 victory vs. Iowa to split a doubleheader Saturday at Duane Banks Field.
Iowa won the first game, 7-1, capitalizing on four Ohio State errors to overcome a three-hit deficit in the game, 8-5. In the nightcap, it was Iowa that out-hit the Buckeyes, 9-5, and committed four errors.
In the fifth inning of game two, Ohio State broke the in the most unconventional way, getting its three runs on one hit, two catcher’s interference calls and two walk to take a 5-2 lead. Jacob Howell (Jr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) drew a lead-off walk and then went to second when Matt Angle (So., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling) was awarded first on a catcher’s interference call. A fielder’s choice sacrifice bunt by Eric Fryer (So., Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) loaded the bases when Howell beat out the throw to third. Howell scored on a fielder’s choice by Ronnie Bourquin (Jr., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) that nabbed Fryer at second.
Adam Schneider (Jr., Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) laid down the perfect suicide squeeze to score Angle for the second run of the inning. After a fielder’s choice and a second catcher’s interference call, Wes Schirtzinger (Jr., Westerville, Ohio/Westerville South) drew a bases loaded walk to cap the scoring before the second strikeout of the game by Jason Zoeller (Jr., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy) ended the inning. The at bat was the last for Zoeller who had ran his hit streak to 12 games in the first game. He was 0-for-3 with a lineout and two strikeouts to end the team’s longest hit streak of the season.
Ohio State added a run in the sixth when Fryer drove in Angle with a single to center. Angle reached on a one-out hit to right-centerfield and stole second to set up the run, which would prove to be big.
OSU starter Cory Luebke (So., Maria Stein, Ohio/Marion Local) pitched effectively through six innings, allowing just seven hits in the first four innings of the game. After he gave up a lead-off walk and a fielder’s choice to start the Iowa fourth, he retired the next eight batters and took the ball to start the bottom of the seventh, but he gave up back-to-back hits and walked a third to load the bases before 19th-year head coach Bob Todd went to his bullpen for Rory Meister (So., Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Madison).
Meister came in with the tying run at the plate and walked in a run. A second run scored on a fielder’s choice to pull the Hawkeyes within two. Meister hunkered down and struck out the next batter, but he walked the next to again load the bases. He responded again and struck out Dusty Napolean to end the game and earn his third save of the season.
Luebke improved to 3-1 and struck out six through his six innings in which he allowed four runs on nine hits. Austin Seward took the loss for Iowa. He slipped to 1-3 and struggled through his four innings, allowing five runs on just two hits and three walks. Four of the Buckeyes’ six runs were unearned.
Ohio State scored one run without the aid of a hit in the top of the first inning. Howell reached on a fielding error on, Napolean, the Iowa first baseman. Angle moved Howell to second with a sacrifice bunt. Howell went to third on a balk and then scored on a grounder that was misplayed by shortstop Jason White for the second error of the inning.
The lead was short-lived when Iowa scored twice in the bottom of the inning. Nate Price led off with a single through the left side and was bunted over by Jason White. A double by Travis Sweet scored price and then Sweet scored on a single through the left side by Napolean, giving Iowa a 2-1 lead.
A double by Schneider scored Bourquin as the equalizing run in the fourth. The walk by Bourquin interrupted a string of Hawkeye pitcher Austin Seward. A walk and a bunt loaded the bases with one out but Schirtzinger popped up to third and Zoeller struck out to strand the second, third and fourth runners of the game.
Schneider was the only Buckeye with multiple hits in going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Fryer also drove in two runs in going 1-for-3. Price and Sweet each had two hits for the Hawkeyes.
The Buckeyes moved to 14-6 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten, while Iowa slipped to 11-10 and 1-2.
The series is scheduled to conclude with a single game Sunday at 2:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on AM 920 WMNI and available at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.